NYC Rationing Gas:
New York announced gasoline rationing Thursday to address a fuel crisis sparked by superstorm Sandy, as tens of thousands more people lost electricity and officials prepared to deploy emergency mobile homes.
Echoing 1970s energy shortages, America's biggest city and financial capital was to restrict sales starting at 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced. He did not say when the measure would end.
Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers will be allowed to fill up on odd-numbered dates. Cars with plates ending in an even number or a zero will be eligible on even-numbered days, with police deployed to enforce the rules.
A similar scheme was earlier implemented in neighboring New Jersey after hurricane-strength Sandy, accompanied by severe flooding, wrecked crucial infrastructure last week. However, Bloomberg's announcement, which does not affect medical, commercial and emergency services vehicles, came as a surprise.
"Only 25 percent of our gas stations we estimate are open," he conceded. "Frustrations are only growing and it now appears there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks."
In the wider New York urban area, as many as 38 percent of stations are out of order, US Department of Energy figures showed.
– by AFP